Thursday, 24 September 2020

Questions (209)

Bernard Durkan


209. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science the number of incidents, reports made or complaints received of academic bullying throughout all universities in each of the past eight years to date; the nature of such events whether professional, gender or race related; the actions taken arising from such complaints by each third-level institution involved; if the practice has ceased; if not, the reason therefor; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26262/20]

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Written answers (Question to Further and Higher Education)

Statistics of this nature are not currently available to my Department. To address this data deficit going forward on 4 August 2020 I wrote to the presidents of all publicly funded higher education institutions (HEIs) on the implementation of the Framework for Consent in HEIs; Safe, Respectful, Supportive and Positive: Ending Sexual Harassment in Irish Higher Education Institutions. requesting that all HEIs develop and publish, by February 2021, specific institutional action plans on tackling sexual violence and harassment. These actions plans will involve the implementation of systems that record the number of incidents of bullying, intimidation or harassment including sexual harassment reported in each HEI. The Higher Education Authority (HEA) has oversight of the Framework for Consent in HEIs, and these statistics will be reported annually to the HEA once the HEI action plans are in place.

I have also requested a survey to be undertaken on harassment, sexual harassment and bullying of both staff and students in the higher education institutions. The planning of this survey has commenced, and the HEA will be consulting with the HEIs and representative bodies, such as the Irish Universities Association and the Technological Higher Education Association in this regard.